The Boston Red Sox have gotten contribution from Andrew Benintendi all August long, and he played a major role in this weekend's series in the Bronx. The outfielder was the hero yet again on Sunday night, as his RBI single in the 10th gave Boston a 3-2 win over the New York Yankees, clinching the series victory. Another young star, Rafael Devers, played a key role on the night, as his ninth-inning home run forced extras after the Red Sox trailed 2-1. He connected on a 103-mph fastball against Aroldis Chapman, becoming the second left-hander to homer off the flame-thrower in his eight-year career. That all led to the Bosox' 10th win in 11 games, putting them a season-best 17 games over .500, and giving them a 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Chapman remained in the game for New York after blowing the save, and gave up Benintendi's game-winner after loading the bases. Todd Frazier had given the Yankees the lead with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly against Matt Barnes, that was after Chris Sale held New York to one run over seven innings and struck out 12. Devers' game-tying blast came as a pinch-hitter, in his 15th career major league game, and handed Chapman his fourth blown save in 19 tries. The Yankees did get a runner to third in the bottom of the 10th, but Craig Kimbrel struck out Brett Gardner to end the game. Boston will now take their hot streak back home for a make-up game with the Cleveland Indians on Monday.
Cubs Take Back First Place in NL Central
The Chicago Cubs surprisingly found themselves tied with the St. Louis Cardinals atop the NL Central, as the Redbirds have been on fire over the past couple of weeks. Although, the defending champs were able to regroup on Sunday, and got the help of the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs earned a 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Cardinals' eight-game win streak came to an end with a 6-3 loss to the lowly Braves. Javier Baez and Ian Happ went back-to-back late to help the Cubs preserve their lead, while Jake Arrieta earned consecutive wins for the first time since April. The right-hander allowed just one run on three hits over six innings for his 12th victory of the season. Kris Bryant also went deep for a 21st time this season, while also scoring from second base on a wild pitch to get the scoring started. Paul Goldschmidt did connect for his 28th home run, but Arizona lost for a sixth time in the past eight games. Meanwhile, Brandon Phillips homered for a second straight day to lead Atlanta in their upset victory. R.A. Dickey impressed on the mound, allowing one run on seven hits over seven innings, making it eight of his 23 starts that he has allowed one earned run or less this year. Phillips' long ball was the fifth of his season and 17th of his career against St. Louis. Cards' starter Michael Wacha allowed four runs on five hits, despite lasting eight innings, as he suffered his fifth loss of the year. The Cardinals' loss, combined with the Cubs' win, puts Chicago back in first place in the Central by one game. They will return home to host the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, while the Cardinals go to Fenway for a tough matchup with the Red Sox on Tuesday.
Nationals Lose Harper to Bone Bruise
Despite the news of no ligament damage to the knee of Bryce Harper being welcoming, the Washington Nationals still took a big blow with the slugger being ruled out indefinitely with a bone bruise in his knee. The first-place Nats are optimistic that he will return before season's end, and can breathe a sigh of relief after worrying that the injury was much more series. The incident occurred during Saturday's game with the San Francisco Giants, as Harper slipped off of first base while running out a ground ball in the first inning. He took a nasty fall after the slip and was carried off the field. There is no official timetable for the return of the All-Star, but manager Dusty Baker did mention the possibility of 10 days to two weeks. Harper himself commented after the news was revealed on Sunday afternoon, saying "I want to be at 100 percent whenever I play." His team does hold a sizable lead in the NL East, which could help the Nats take more time on getting Harper back on the field. The former MVP is hitting .329 on the season with 29 home runs and 87 RBI, but now joins Stephen Strasburg on the injury list. The Nationals have been dominant during the regular season in recent years, only to fall short in the postseason. They need to focus on their health the rest of the way if they want any shot of advancing further in to October.